Friday, November 30, 2007

Time for a Laugh!

If you do not like jokes with sexual connotations, please do not proceed further.
The following joke is rated M18, so if you are under 18 or feel that you are not mature enough to handle such jokes, please do not read on.







Bra Cups and Codes

AND, just a thought for all the women out there........

MENtal illness, MENstrual cramps, MENtal breakdown,

Ever notice how all of women's problems start with men?.........


When we have real trouble it's HISterectomy!!!!

A Friend Is Like A Good Bra...
Hard to Find
Always Lifts You Up
Never Lets You Down or Leaves You Hanging
And Is Always Close To Your Heart!!!

A Gift from God (part 2)

All my bags are packed
I'm ready to go
I'm standing here outside the door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye....

(Excerpt from Leaving on a jet plane by John Denver)

No, I'm only going away for a week,
As a parent supporter for my kids.
They are both off to KL to represent their school
in a chess tournament organised by the
Malaysian Ministry of Education.
So, to keep you occupied when I am away
Here's another chapter of A Gift from God....
(yeah, there's more to come)
Happy Reading!

A Gift from God (part 2)

The first 2 weeks of the Baby's life was pretty normal. The couple felt terribly stressed as they still did not know what was wrong with the child. Suddenly, starting in the 3rd week of the baby's life, the baby started crying every time her diaper was changed, as well as every night from 1 to 5am. This went on for weeks. The couple did not know what was wrong! The wife was really stressed as she was up all night every night trying to soothe the baby, and during the day, her life had to go on, taking care of her other two kids. They considered hiring a night nurse, but finally decided against it as they were not used to having others take care of their children, much less a new born. A call to the paediatrician was made, and he suggested that it could be colic. Being Asians, they did not personally make a visit to the doctor as the mother was supposed to be in confinement.

Meanwhile, the gynae and paediatrician were pondering over baby's birth x-rays. The gynae's husband, who is an orthopaedic surgeon chanced upon the x-rays one day, as it lay on their study table at home. He immediately told his wife that the thigh bone was a "healing bone" i.e one that had been fractured and was now in the process of healing. The paediatrician on the other hand, forwarded the x-rays to another doctor who came up with the same diagnosis, and suggested that the x-rays be forwarded to a visiting professor.

The mother and child made visits to both the gynae and paediatrician at the end of the confinement month, and more x-rays were ordered for the Baby. That was when they found out the reason behind those crying spells. The Baby had fractured her femurs again!! (The first time was in utero.) The visiting professor responded with the answer for the fractures. The baby was diagnosed as having Osteogenesis Imperfacta (OI for short).

They were then referred to a geneticist and a professor at the university hospital. Meanwhile, the couple did their own research on OI.

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI and sometimes known as Brittle Bone Disease) is a genetic bone disorder. People with OI are born without the proper protein (collagen), or the ability to make it, usually because of a deficiency of Type-I collagen. People with OI either have less collagen than normal or the quality is poorer than normal. As collagen is an important protein in bone structure, this impairment causes those with the condition to have weak or fragile bones.

As a genetic disorder, OI is an autosomal dominant defect. Most people with OI receive it from a parent but it can also be an individual (de novo or "sporadic") mutation.

Source: Wikipedia
(Here's an article on OI in yesterday's newspapers)

The more they read, the more confused and worried they got. The family had no history of OI. So they concluded that it had to be an individual gene mutation that caused it. There are many categories of OI, ranging from very mild to the very lethal, where they can die within a year from birth. Bones can even break from just a sneeze. The couple was at a lost how to treat their precious baby. They also found out that at present time, there is no cure for OI. Treatments are aimed at increasing overall bone strength to prevent fracture and maintain mobility. Physiotherapy could be used to strengthen muscles and improve motility in a gentle manner, while minimizing the risk of fracture. Alternatively, metal rods could be surgically inserted in the long bones to improve strength. But all this was not advisable at such a young age.

So began a series of visits to the specialists. Every visit to the specialists was a heart wrenching experience for the parents especially the mother. This was because she saw what could become of her precious baby - as there were a few other children with OI who had appointments at the same time. Some, as old as 10, years were going for their appointments in baby strollers, as they could not sit up. Some younger ones were carried in for appointments on mattresses, so as to minimise contact (for fear of fracturing bones). Many had to use wheelchairs to get around.

The specialists advised them to minimise any possibility of a fall. They also had to be on the look out for fractures (even if there were no falls). To observe the child carefully, for eye related problems (deteriorating eyesight and eventually blindness could result depending on severity), dental problems (poor dental health is also a major problem) as well as hearing problems (deafness could result). The list was endless. Whilst the husband tried very hard to follow the doctor's advise, almost to the extend of keeping the child in isolation and limiting those who could even carry her, the wife, wanted the child to have as normal a childhood as possible. Basically the husband was more cautious, whilst the wife was - to put it mildly - clueless as she really did not know how to handle the situation. She just wanted a normal childhood for her child.

The couple worried about how their other 2 children would feel when they found out about their little sister. Would they despise her and consider her a burden? Would they be angry with her, because their parents would be devoting more time to the baby because of her physical disability? Would they be upset because family activities would in the future have to be of the non-dangerous type - ie no soccer playing, no rock-climbing, no skiing etc. Or, would they warm up to their baby sister and love her just the same, or even more.

So whilst the couple decided to keep the truth from their children (as they were unsure how severe the OI was, nor how to explain all these to their two young children), they had to tell them to be very, very careful and gentle around their little sister. They had to enforce a “no hugging" rule for fear that it could cause fractured ribs. The children were really puzzled as they couldn’t really understand what the fuss was all about! Friends and family were also discouraged from carrying the baby. Many could not understand, as the couple did not explain to them what was actually wrong with their new baby. The wife just could not get herself to talk about it. Actually, she really couldnt accept the situation. A question that keep popping up in her mind was - why is God testing me like this? Is this the cross that I have to carry?

Meanwhile, the husband plunged himself into work. He had to make sure that there would always be more than sufficient for their children, especially the precious youngest child. He needed to make sure that the unknown medical bills that they would face, could always be paid. He wanted to be able to get the best medical help around when the time came. The couple even reviewed their insurance coverage as their needs were now different.

Every turn, cough and even sneeze the baby made was observed with trepidation. It was worse when she started to learn how to crawl (at 6 months) and walk (at 10 months). They just could not risk her falling!! What if more bones broke? They were told that it would be best if she did not suffer any more fractures! Every fracture suffered would further weaken any healing bones and would indicate a more severe diagnosis of OI. They were also told that the child would in the future not be able to participate in activities like gymnastics, physical sports, playing on monkey bars, ballet, and they were even told to discourage the child from going on the slide!! The child, when she grew up, would have to depend on her brains for future employment, and any activity of a physical nature was to be ruled out.

The unthinkable happened one day when the baby was about four months old. As the wife was preparing for lunch, she put the baby in a baby carrier on the chair next to her. As she turned to get a plate, something happened. No one knew how it happened, but the child and the carrier toppled off the chair and the baby fell out of the carrier! The baby was not crying. The wife, petrified, bent slowly over, and she picked the baby up. Suddenly, the baby started crying and the mother became hysterical. Fortunately there was no blood nor bruise.

Were there any broken bones? If so, how many? How was the wife going to explain what happened to her husband??!!? be continued.....


It brought a tear to my eye when I read about the 5 dragon-boaters who died in that freak accident in Cambodia.

The lives of these 5 young men were so tragiclly snuffed out when the dragon boat they were in accidentally knocked into a pontoon, after a race. The boat tipped over, and all 22 fell over. 17 were saved, 5 very precious lives were lost. These men were from the Singapore National Dragon Boat Team. All in the prime of their life.

My heart and prayers goes out to their families. May their souls rest in peace.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Spare the rod?

Got tagged by ling

She wants to know if I spare the rod?

I do use the rod. Boundaries are set and if they intentionally break it in defiance, that's when it comes out. But trying to use it less. Need to use it selectively. Only for really serious offences. Also, hoping that reason and withdrawal of priviledges will be sufficient to correct them. Should not use it when kids are too young coz they dont really understand yet. The first time you use it, it has to hurt. So that subsequently, you only need to take it out. But, we should never use it when in anger. It is difficult, coz that's when we want to use it most. We all learn. And it always hurts us more than it hurts them when we use it. Of course, they dont know that.

As the Bible tells us: "He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24)

**Start Copying Here**

Tag 5 bloggers

1st - You leave their blog and post link and add to the list below.
2nd - Let the blogger know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment in their blog.

1. Miche does not spare the rod.
2. Jo-N wants to be her children's best friend.
3. The New Parent spares the rod.
4. Sting most probably will not resort to spanking.
5. Ling feels very heartpain and spares the rod.
6. SAHM uses it, and it hurts her more than it hurts them.

Well, I will not be tagging anyone, but if you wish to share your views on this, please go ahead and do the tag.


3 flat tyres in 9 months. Yes! my car is not even a year old and I already had 3 flat tyres. Why?

I don't know. There are no construction areas near my home. I dont go to industrial areas. I usually drive my kids to and from school and their other classes which are in a commercial area, and to and from the market.

Where do all these nails come from?

It is such a pain coz it means the inconvenience of going to get the tyre patched or changed, and it means at least an hour of down time for me. I hate it, coz it throws my schedule out. I am sure no one has a "record" better than mine

Am I jinxed or what??!!?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Down Under

Hi! I'm back. Spent close to two weeks down under just doing nothing much. It is a place we go to almost every year - to recharge. Why do we choose to keep going back to the same place?

The kids want it!
We love the open spaces

The views

The fresh fruits

The wildlife

The chocolates

The golfing

It is child friendly
It is near (just a short flight)
Relatively inexpensive for us (accomodation is free!!!)
And, we get free baby-sitting.

But there's no place like home!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Gift from God (part 1)

Heigh ho! Heigh ho!
It's on vacation I go,
So no posting for 2 weeks
So here's a looong post.
(Sung to the tune of Heigh ho! from the movie Snow White and the 7 dwarfs)

Take care!

A Gift from God (part 1)

Husband and wife, both in their early 40s were enjoying marital bliss. They were blessed with 2 children, a boy aged 5 and a girl aged 8, when one day they were confronted with a positive result on the home pregnancy kit. There were no doubts that they would keep the child, even though their risks of a having a down syndrome child was very high.

Wife thought: Previous 2 pregnancies were a piece of cake - no morning sickness, no cravings, everything went smoothly. So this one should be the same.

But it was not to be. It wasnt only morning sickness that she suffered but also afternoon and night sickness. It would strike any time and anywhere. Her kids called her the merlion!! She could not eat, nor drink as she liked. During the ultrasound scan, they could count the baby's fingers and toes, and they knew it was going to be a girl. Based on tests done, the gynae confirmed that there was no risk of a down syndrome child. She even told them that the baby would be a big baby at birth - at least bigger than the average baby.

Everything was fine up to gestation week 28. Son was hospitalised for a chest infection. Wife subsequently came down with a nagging cough that refused to go away. Wife grew bigger and bigger. Passer-bys thought she was carrying twins! At the 32 week scan, the gynae noticed something wasn't right. The baby had curved femurs (thigh bone)!! Previous scans did not show that problem at all. Also, the amniotic fluid level was very high. They suspected that she was suffering from gestational diabetes. So a series of tests were started. But the results were all negative - she did not have diabetes - never had a history of it as well.

The gynae started doing her research on the curved femur. This is the first time she had encountered such a thing mid-way thru a pregnancy! She referred the wife to her other gynae friends for a review and opinion. No one knew what was wrong. This was a first for all of them too! They suspected dwarfism or some genetic disorder. But the couple had no family history of it, and why mid-way through the pregnancy did it rear its ugly head!

This marked the start of a series of teleconference calls between the couple and the gynae. They discussed all the possible scenarios and problems that could be ahead. The gynae suggested that the couple could change gynaes to the head of OBGYN at a governement hospital, her friend, just in case the baby faced problems at birth and required long term hospitalisation. The gynae started preparing the wife for the possible consequences, including counselling her and preparing her for the possibility of losing the child not long after birth.

The couple cried in private, but put up a brave front for their two children who were eagerly awaiting the arrival of their little sister. After much consideration, they decided that they would stick with their current gynae and the unknown medical bill that they would face at the private hospital. Their fear: the bureaucracy at the Government run hospital, the long waits and the ability to mobilise specialists as and when needed. They just had to do all that they could for their unborn child. They were not going to change horses mid-stream. They just prayed for the best, and left it in God's hands.

Everywhere the wife went, people told her that she would "pop" anytime soon - but it was a good 8 weeks to Expected delivery date. Her amniotic fluid level grew and grew. The gynae advised that as soon as contractions were felt, (never mind how far apart they were) they were to proceed immediately to hospital. Her fear was that should the water bag break, with the high levels of amniotic fluid, the baby would be delivered very quickly. Also an arm or leg could be in the way, making subsequent delivery difficult and dangerous!!

The couple fretted. The hospital was right in the middle of the orchard road shopping belt and it was pre-christmas shopping season. Imagine being caught in a jam on the way to the hospital!!

At week 34, the wife felt contractions and the couple made their way to the hospital. The gynae felt it was too early for the baby to be delivered. The lungs and other organs were not fully developed, and the child could face life-long medical problems. After much consultation, they decided that they would inject the fetus with a drug that could help develop the baby's lungs, before tapping on the amniotic fluid. This tapping procedure was meant to delay labour!. But, it could also induce labour! But should that happen, at least the baby would have lungs which were better developed, and would give her a better chance of survival. The injection was given later in the evening. Miraculously, the contractions stopped. The doctor then decided against performing the procedure of tapping the amniotic fluids. The wife was issued with orders to completely rest in bed for the rest of her pregnancy, and to minimise walking.

The couple searched for a name for their soon-to-be born child. But their son insisted on a particular name. When the couple looked up the meaning of the name given by the son it meant:"A gift from God". What could be more appropriate. They decided to go with it.

At week 36, the water bag broke. Fortunately, it was at 3am in the morning. The Lord was watching over them. There were no traffic jams to contend with as the couple made their way to the hospital. However, there were no contractions. The wife was monitored as soon as she arrived in hospital. After 12 hours in hospital, at about 3pm, the gynae felt that they could not wait anymore. Doing so would endanger the baby's life. She put the wife on a contactions-inducing drug. In a fairly short time, the baby was delivered, with the paediatrician in attendance. Not long after birth, the baby was whisked off for a series of tests and x-rays.

The baby, was delivered on 10 Dec 2004. She weighed 3 kg at birth, a good birth weight despite being close to 5 weeks pre term. They could not find anything wrong with her, except for her thigh bone which did not appear normal. Would the child be handicapped for the rest of her life? What caused it? No one knew. After 2 days in hospital, both mother and child were given the green light to return to the comforts of their home, much to everyone's relief. be continued...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Insomnia is a sleeping disorder characterized by the inability to fall asleep and/or the inability to remain asleep for a reasonable amount of time.
Source: Wikipedia

Recently, I have been unable to sleep as well as I used to. If I am disturbed in the middle of the night, which is fairly easy since I am a very light sleeper, I will end up being awake the rest of the night. Even with no disturbances, I find that I am up by about 4.30am most mornings. Why? I am one who loves my sleep! Am I suffering from insomnia? And, does it come with age?

I remember we used to tease my dad. He used to fall asleep as soon as he turned on the TV, never mind what time it was. I also remember that he would be awake very early in the mornings, before 5am, and he would be reading. We used to say that he slept too much in front of the TV that he was unable to sleep in, in the morning.

Now, I have a similar problem. By 9pm, I feel so tired, I just want to go to bed. Even if I go to bed late, I still wake up early. Fortunately, I am not so grumpy nowadays even though I dont sleep as much.

Many insomniacs rely on sleeping tablets and other sedatives to get rest. But I dont intend to take that route. Even after a nice glass of Moscato last Sunday evening, I was up by 5am the next day. Why? Is it old age? Or is it pay back time for making fun of my dad when I was young? Just Let me sleep!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Soccer time!

Last evening, my 4 kids, eh, sorry, 3 kids and hubby played a soccer game. In one team was hubby and Little D, and the other team comprised my other two kids, S & N.

Hubby's team started scoring early. They were 3 goals up when the other team decided they needed a little handicap. The markers indicating the goal posts were then moved.

This was the goal hubby and Little D had to score in,

and this was the one for S&N.

Play soon resumed, and more goals were scored. At the end, despite the handicap, the score was Hubby and Little D's team: 17, S&N's team: 7.

A visit to the Gardens

We made a visit to the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden yesterday morning. It is located within the Bukit Timah Core of Singapore Botanic Gardens. It is Asia's first Children's garden, and it aims to cultivate an appreciation for plants, nature and the environment among the young through play and exploration.

Admission to the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden is free and is open to children up to 12 years old. All children have to be accompanied by an adult. And adults not accompanied by children, will need to join designated viewing sessions of the park.

Some of the things that interested my children at the park were the suspension bridge, the maze, a water-play area, and a giant tree-house! There was also a party-place, a covered area where, I assume, people could book to use as a party venue.

There were also educational areas within the park such as the sensory garden, an exhibit on photosynthesis, etc. Unfortunately, my kids were only interested in the "play" parts of the park!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence (EI) refers to a persons "...ability, capacity, or skill to perceive, assess, and manage the emotions of one's self, of others, and of groups." (Source: Wikipedia)

One of the measures of EI is our emotional quotient (EQ). It is believed that a large part of our success in life is based on our EQ. How we manage our emotions and the way we relate to others determines how successful and satisfied we are at work, home, and with friends. Our EQ is the ability to make and deepen connections at three levels: with ourselves (personal mastery), with another person (one-to-one), and within groups/teams.

My older daughter S, is at the age (11years) where she cannot tolerate boys. She has a little brother that constantly irritates her. She has classmates that throw tantrums, cries and disrupts the class every day!! And as many as 10 times in a 6 hour period. They are a nuisance, she says. I know every girl goes through such a period, before things change and they start to be so totally interested in boys!

We know a boy, J, aged 9, who suffers from severe eczema. He is red from the back of his ears down to his toes, as a result of the itch he suffers and his inability to stop scratching himself. J goes to a different school from my children but we have met him at chess tournaments. He has two other brothers who do not have this eczema problem. We noticed him partly because of his severe eczema.

A number of weeks ago, we were at a church carnival. J saw my daughter and approached her. With a big smile on his face, he came up and said: "Hi S. Do you know me? I have seen you at chess tournaments."

My daughter rolled her eyes and said: "Yes," turned, and was about to walk away. I interuppted and addresssed him by name: "Yes J, we know you. I did not realise that you came to this church as well. It is nice meeting you here."

He was so pleased. He beemed, said goodbye, and went off to the other carnival stalls. I thought it was so charming of him to come up and say hello. My daughter got a shelling from me for her behavoir, which I felt was totally rude.

She was so lacking in EQ, dont you think?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Breast Cancer

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Please click here to help those in need. Thanks!

Friday, November 9, 2007

He came home crying....

My son came home yesterday from the Deepavali chess tournament crying.

This tournament is an open tournament, which meant that he played with players of all age groups. We felt that he had played fairly well in the tournament, ending with 4 points out of 7 games. He even drew the game with the World Under 7 champion, and a few others who were rated much higher than him.

In fact, when I spoke to him just before the prize-giving presentation, he was in very high spirits and very happy with his performance. So, why all that drama when he came home?

Because he finished overall 4th in his age group category. He thought that since he drew with all those guys who were rated higher than him, on count back, he should have been ahead of them. Also, his sister, who finished with 3 and a half points, finished in 3rd place in her category. He felt that it was so UNFAIR! He had more points but a smaller trophy.

Sigh! Tried to explain to him that there was a bigger field of players in the boys category, and hence more competitive, so it was tougher for him, as compared to the girls. Also, a lot depended on the luck of the draw, and who you were paired to play with. We told him that at the end of the day, how he faired depended on his tournament performance rating (TPR). He scored a TPR of 200 points more than his current rating, which meant that he did very well. But the more we tried to reason with him, the louder he cried.....

Gifted Education Programme

The results of the Gifted Education Progamme (GEP) testing was released last Friday. It caused numerous parents lots of heartache, especially when they found out that their little genius did not qualify for it. The top 5% were selected from an initial round of screening. This top 5% were then put through more tests with only the top 1% selected for the GEP.

The controversy this year surrounds the preparation offered by enrichment centres for these tests. Some argued that if the child was really gifted, why the need to prepare. Also, these tests papers are not made available to all and sundry. Then how did these centres have information on what the testing methods were like. Those who invested thousands of dollars preping their kids justified their actions by saying that the preparation exposed their children to various forms of testing, and additional knowledge acquired by their kids justified their spending. I say, let people do what they want. If they want to spend that money, its their perogative. If their children can learn from it, even better.

I know of a few children, real go getters, who did not qualify. Though their parents did not openly pressure them to make it for the GEP, these kids wanted it themselves. When the results were known,and they found that they were unsuccessful, these kids could not eat and sleep, and were unusually quiet, and kept very much to themselves. They experienced "failure" for the first time. These were kids who excelled at school. For some of them, though their parents told them it was alright if they did not get in, I think, the parents' "body language" or actions may have showed otherwise, if not, I think, their kids would not feel this way. Also, why all that bitching about others that made it!

I know of parents who feel that to qualify is the "be all and end all" for their kids. Some even stopped all of their kids "other" activities for a year, just to prep them to qualify. Some even express regret when their kids did not qualify. They feel like their kids have failed.

I tell these parents, that education is a journey, and the GEP does not mark the end of that journey. In fact, it is the start of a long gruelling journey. I liken it to climbing a mountain. The others are taking a well used path up a gradual slope, whilst the GEPers are climbing it using a steeper incline. They have a tougher route up. Both end at the same place, but the journey taken is different.

So what if your kids did not get into the GEP? They could be equally gifted, if not more gifted than some of those that did. Maybe they just had a bad day on the day of the testing. It's not the end of the world. Your kids can still excel in the mainstream. They would probably get better marks than most GEPers for the PSLE, as evident from prior years results. Anyway, they all start secondary schooling again on an equal footing, since now there is no secondary GEP.

Hubby and I were talking. We said we were glad we stumbled into this unaware. We did not even know the timing of the GEP testing, and when our daughter came home and asked if she should go for the tests, we told her: "No harm trying. But no stress, ok? It doesnt matter if you make it to the second round or not." Even when she qualified after the second round testing, we asked her: "Are you very sure you want to change schools?" We were quite happy with her school then, and she was doing well. We also reckoned that since we knew little about the GEP, we couldnt really help her much, as compared to the mainstream where we are familiar with the system and syllabus. We only started our research on the GEP and started talking to people about it much later...very near the deadline for submitting our decision. In fact, my daughter made most of the decisions herself, even the school of choice. We only supported her in her actions.

The GEP programme is not a walk in the park. In the first 3 months, we felt so sorry for her. She had absolutely no time for anything except school work, and more school work. One day she told me: "Mum, The amount of homework I have done in this one week is more than the homework I had for the last 3 years!!" And in the second year, the workload is even heavier. They have numerous projects all going on simultaneously. I am not sure what the P6 year is like, because like I said, we only cross bridges when we come to it. She just has to learn and do for herself. Sometimes she gets mad at me for not helping her with her work. She claims that a lot of her friends' homework are done by their parents. We also know of parents who do their childrens' assignments for them. I tell her that if we were to do it, then she will not learn from it. We try to support her in other ways - emotionally and physically, being there with her when she needs to stay up to do her work. Just sitting around nearby so that she doesnt feel so lonely. Looking up the internet for some things she does not understand, and explaining it to her. Giving her some ideas on how to approach some projects. But never doing for her.

To be able to keep up with all these, I believe, requires diligence, peserverance and maturity, not only giftedness.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

What a way to start the day!

Every morning, when little D wakes up, she will shout: "Mummy, I want you NOW!!" She calls me so she can have her bottle of milk, and the NOW is because I am usually at the computer in the study, and sometimes, only just sometimes, I can take a long while to get to her, especially when I am blogging.

This morning, after I had done my usual morning routine, I climbed into bed next to her. I could not go on the computer, coz it being a public holiday, hubby had beat me to it! As she stirred, she turned around and saw me. She gave me the biggest smile and said: "Mummy, I love you! I love you very, very much."

Tell me, what could be a better way to start the day!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Happy Deepavali!


Deepavali (or Diwali) is the Indian Festival of Lights. It is a major festival celebrated by the Hindus around the world. This festival focuses on lights and lamps, where the lights or lamps signify the uplighting of darkness and victory of good over the evil within.

Deepavali is celebrated for five consecutive days at the end of Hindu month of Kartika (purminata) or Ashwayuja (amanta). It usually occurs in October/November, and is one of the most popular and eagerly awaited festivals in India. Those that celebrate it regard it as a celebration of life and use the occasion to strengthen family and social relationships.

Little D's school also celebrated Deepavali. They learnt about the festival in school and made oil lamps as well. Here's a pic of Little D in her lengah all set for the celebrations.

Little D brought some rose shaped muruku to share with her friends for their Deepavali party.

Little D was given a bindi to wear on her forehead.

Monday, November 5, 2007


The most destructive habit......................Worry

The greatest Joy...............................Giving

The greatest loss................Loss of self-respect

The most satisfying work...............Helping others

The ugliest personality trait.............Selfishness

The most endangered species.........Dedicated leaders

Our greatest natural resource...............Our youth

The greatest "shot in the arm"..........Encouragement

The greatest problem to overcome.................Fear

The most effective sleeping pill........Peace of mind

The most crippling failure disease............Excuses

The most powerful force in life..................Love

The most dangerous pariah..................A gossiper

The world's most incredible computer........The brain

The worst thing to be without................... Hope

The deadliest weapon.......................The tongue

The two most power-filled words..............."I Can"

The greatest asset..............................Faith

The most worthless emotion..................Self-pity

The most beautiful attire......................SMILE!

The most prized possession................Integrity

The most powerful channel of communication.....Prayer

The most contagious spirit.................Enthusiasm

The most important thing in life..................GOD

Friday, November 2, 2007


My older daughter, S, started fixing jigsaws from the age of 2. She started off with the 4 piece Spot jigsaws, and never looked back since. She can do puzzles that are up to 2000 pieces. She loves the challenge of jigsaws and can spend days figuring them out.

My son, on the other hand, isn't as interested in jigsaw puzzles. He fixed the odd puzzle or two when young, but was never really into it.

Little D loves jigsaws too. She started fixing them at the age of two. She did not like the 4 piece puzzles, so she started with the 6 pieces. She had progressed to the 16 piece puzzles in a short time. Every time we went out, she would harrass us to buy her new puzzles. The largest that she has fixed is a 30 piece floor puzzle, and she had no problems with it.

Yesterday, Little D pulled out her sister's old 60 piece jigsaw puzzle. She started working on it on her own.

After 15 mintues, she had completed all of it (58 pieces actually as 2 pieces were missing).

We were really surprised! Quite an achievement, considering she is not even 3 yet! Well, looks like she is like me. I love jigsaws too!

Are you a Motormouth?

What is a motormouth? It is someone who talks incessantly. But the definiton was changed slightly for the TV show: Motormouth USA. It was shown on Singapore TV not so long ago. Here's how it works: It catches people who sing in their car when they thought nobody was listening? The producers take to the streets, traveling the country two cities at a time, in search of America's "most entertaining" singers and most outrageous drivers.

In Round One, they catch unsuspecting drivers singing alone. In Round Two, these clueless crooners are joined by their friends, who set them up-encouraging their singing and ridiculous behavior. In round three, they ambush these dashboard divas and reveal that they have been caught singing on national television. In each town they choose the number one Motormouth and at the end of each episode, these two local loudmouths square off as they crown that episode's Ultimate Motormouth.

It was really entertaining and hilarious watching them.

My daughter thinks I should be on motormouth. Why? Because I love to sing along with the radio in the car.

"How come you know all the songs?" she would ask me.

I dont!! Some how, lyrics and tunes tend to stick in my head. I can sing along - but if you were to ask me for the title or singer, I have no clue. I simply enjoy singing along - it makes a journey less boring, it keeps me occupied, and when I am singing, I drown out the arguing that takes place between the kids. Ha! With my singing, they can't get a word in. So, it's my secret weapon.

Are you a motormouth too?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Celebrating Halloween!

Halloween is a festival celebrated mainly in the Western World on 31 October. Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting "haunted houses", pumpkin carving and viewing horror films.

We do not usually celebrate this festival, but since the children's exams had just ended, we decided to have a bit of "fear factor" fun as part of Halloween celebrations.

We had body parts to eat - eyeballs, ears, false teeth as well as worms and snakes. Fortunately for them I got the chocolate and gummy variety.

They also had some Halloween paraphenalia to wear - witches hats, hairbands with spiders, halos, devils horns, fangs, courtesy of their aunt who just came back from a vacation.

All in, we had an enjoyable time!